tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 10, 2015 6:00am-7:01am EDT
view, this state of affairs puts public safety at risk. so we have done away with the secure communities program, and created a new program in its place, which in my view solves the legal and political controversy. we are no longer placing detainers on individuals, except if there is probable cause to solve the legal issue. we are replacing that with requests for notification, we are no longer putting detainers on people based simply on an arrest. we are now only seeking to transfer suspected terrorists, felons, convicted felons, those convicted of aggravated felonies, those in street gangs, those convicted of significant misdemeanors, and those who get convicted of three or more
misdemeanors. so here is my ask. we want to work with you to restore this relationship. we have replaced secure communities with a new program for the benefit of public safety, but i need a partner. those in this room and governors and mayors and county commissions and so forth, we have done our part to end the controversial secure communities program. and now i ask that you and others get with your city attorney, your city council, you are police commissioner your chief, get a hold of the policy document i issued in see november 2 how we replaced the secure communities program, for the benefit of all those we serve. and if you are one of those 177 jurisdictions, you will get a knock on the door from me. because we want to work with you to rebuild this relationship. in my view, this is a public safety imperative. elsewhere in our department, we
are moving forward on our cyber security mission, and late last year at legislation was passed the administration has a new , proposal for cyber security, this year, which we hope congress will act on. we are doing a number of things to reform the way in which we do business in the department of homeland security. we have filled senior-level vacancies and we are building more out -- morale and we are moving in the direction of more transparency and so forth. so this is a good time right now for homeland security. we have a new budget and we are moving forward with our very important mission. but my overarching message here with all of you is that it takes a partnership with the men and women in this room for security hometown security and public , safety and for all of the
people we as public servants represent. the last thing i will say to you is for my part, i recognize that homeland security is a balance. it is a balance between basic physical security and our american values. the things we cherish our civil , liberties, our right to peaceably assemble our right to travel, diversity, diversity we cherish, our immigrant heritage that we cherish. i like to tell audiences that i could build you a perfectly safe city. we could build higher walls. we could interrogate more people. we could erect more scanning devices. we could screen more people to create a perfectly safe space. but it would not be a shining city on a hill. it would be a prison. so homeland security must be a balance between the security of
our people and the preservation of the things that we value as americans. i look forward to working with all of you in the days ahead on our joint homeland security and public safety mission. thank you very much and thank you for listening to me. [applause] host: secretary johnson, on behalf of the national league of cities and its members i want to thank you for joining us today. i also want to thank you for all of the good work that you are doing to keep our cities safe, our country strong, and our citizens protected. it is now my great pleasure to introduce the members of this afternoon's panel on climate change. at this time, let me introduce our panel and each of these
panelists are incredible folks and what they do on behalf of all of us and their particular focus with cities. first, dr. ernest moniz, the secretary of the department of energy. [applause] please join me also in welcoming gina mccarthy the administrator of the environmental protection agency. i'd like to invite peter rogoff the undersecretary of transportation. thank you.
i'm going to ask each of these panelists to give us a brief comment. then we are going to go into a series of questions around topics that are important to us in cities as well as within the realm of responsibility. mr. secretary? >> thank you and greetings to my colleagues here. i'm not going to get into things you know very well, like the importance of cities and the importance of cities in the context of our climate challenge. but let me focus on a few items in these opening remarks. of course, all of you have tremendous responsibilities in terms of managing a lot of the structure in this country. let me say a word about our
quadrennial energy review, the first installment that we expect to have come out in a few weeks. this is a study that has been going on for over one year. across the administration. looking specifically at the issues of energy infrastructure. transmission, storage, and distribution of energy. that includes electricity, fuel and includes looking at reliability, resilience, safety and security of infrastructure. some findings like looking at analyzing risks from storm surges, modeling showing that storm surges could implicate about 100 vital substations. heat waves degrading our
infrastructure. also increasing things like peak cooling requirements, also, oil and gas supplies depend on reliable electricity to operate, but in turn, particularly our power section relies on natural gas. a complex interdependency that we have to be careful about. the energy industry, a different aspect is by 2020 we expect to need to fill about 2 million jobs within the energy industry, and of course, we need to therefore focus on some of the training areas, which we are doing. in addition, some of the outcomes of the qer are already in our 2016 fiscal budget. for example, we will have in there $63 million proposal for
state grants for reliability and for energy assurance. hopefully the states and the cities will be working together to come forward with those planning activities, which is then in turn can lead to eligibility, we hope, for what will be major infrastructure projects support. also in the budget there is something called the local energy program $29 to help cities and counties accelerate -- $20 million to help cities and counties accelerate the investment and efficiencies and clean energy. so these are just some of the items that are in the budget. let me just mention two new things today. we are issuing now a notice of technical assistance for our 16 climate action champions. one of them is seated here at the table. so he is happy.
maybe there are 15 more out there out there who are happy about that particular grant, but we are also pleased to announce $6 million through our clean cities program for alternative fuel market growth program. so this will support 11 community-led projects to reduce market barriers and improve buyer awareness of plug in electric and other alternative fuel vehicles. one such project will enable visitors in orlando, for example, to rent and receive information on plug in electrics, and a whole bunch of other projects i say that will be announced today. so those are just a few of the things that we are moving forward in terms of clean energy, climate, and energy infrastructure reliability and resilience. thank you. host: thank you so much, and i hope everybody is taking notes
on the opportunities to help advance efforts in your community through the department of energy initiatives. administrator? administrator mccarthy: thank you for moderating and being one of the best mayors in the u.s. it is so exciting to see all of the work that you are doing. [applause] he also finds time to help epa. so i thank you for being a great advisor to the agency. and a great partner. so first of all, thank you, and thanks for letting me be back again, i don't know what i did wrong last time, but maybe it is something right. i know you are dying to get to your questions. i hope you know we follow up with each and every one of them and let me be brief and thank everyone for letting me join. i just want to mention a couple of things. i know that communities across the u.s. and particularly our cities and towns have been wonderful partners for the epa.
both in identifying how best to identify how state revolving funds effectively, to look at brownfields redevelopment and continuing to support that. looking toward sustainability and how communities work. our fiscal budget this year at the president's request has really been recognizing how great you are and how we can enhance partnership with additional dollars. number one, the 42% of epa's funding goes directly to states and to tribes. the president is looking to up the ante to continue to work together to provide resilience so that we can provide you expertise and tools so you can address your changing weather patterns, the extreme weather events that you are experiencing. but we also know that climate change is significantly
affecting our infrastructure. so we are dealing with climate change and the old challenge with dealing with water waste and water infrastructure. what we did 40 or 50 years ago is now needing repair. as well as looking at new challenges with the drinking water side. so we are going to continue to work with you on planning, but also there is a significant increase over last year's request in the area of srf. we are looking at new ways to continue to support wastewater infrastructure, not just in terms of helping resilience, but also green infrastructure and we have recently announced the creation of a water and resilience finance center. and that is so we can have one place were can go to think about creative financing opportunities that will bring private sector dollars to the table. build private-public partnerships. we know that the money that we have in the public sector is not
going to be able to get the job done that we are seeing, because there is $600 billion needs in water infrastructure need out there over the next 20 years. we have to pump it up and find new ways to finance at. we are laying the platform for our center to take advantage of creative financing the transportation agencies have found effective. we want to do it as well so we are going to be building that center. so hopefully we will be creating our partnership and looking for every opportunity to understand your needs and support that as effectively as we can. moderator: thank you. mr. rogoff: first and foremost, i want to express my apologies to a mayor who has recovered -- anthony fox, who is recovering from minor knee surgery. otherwise he would be here today, and i also want to echo
gina's's sentiment that mayor becker is a great partner and i would just say that secretary moniz, whatever amount of money you gave him, we had given him a lot more. dr. moniz: that will be a good competition. administrator mccarthy: if he give me more money i would win. mr. rogoff: s anthony foxx were here he would be talking about the imperative of the grail america act in the next few months. many of you know last year, the administration submitted a four-year $302 billion bill so , we can get away from all of these incremental extensions that number some 32 separate extensions that have been milking the program along for the last several years. last year we submitted a $302
billion four-year bill and what we got was frozen funding for 10 months. under president obama's leadership, we are doubling down. we are going to be submitting a six year 480 billion bill that will bring overall funding that is closer to 60% and we say precisely what part of the tax code we would amend to pay for it. we would get money to augment the highway trust fund. we have sent to congress if they do not like it, we are open to talking to others. but we need to act. why are we pushing the grow america act so hard? we are doing it because we looked into the future and we can see what happens if we don't change our transportation policies and we don't change our funding trajectory. just a few weeks ago, we at the dot released our traffic study and i would encourage you to look at it, it is at
www.dot.gov\beyondtraffic. it's a draft and we're looking for comments. and it looks at all of the trends that we are going to experience, a population growth, areas that have undergone dramatic growth in the south and west that are already experiencing congestion. frankly, this study has taking -- taken on a resonance with the american public the on what we have expected. we are expecting a quarter of a million downloads of people reading this study. we think it has taken on present
-- on this resonance because people know something is wrong. they see it and the potholes we are hitting every day. they see it in the congestion. even as transit ridership goes. and we will see these trends persist over the next 30 years. this is something that will absolutely drag our economy down, rather than something that is going to grow jobs that will support those 70 million additional americans. we are not asking for increased funding just because we like infrastructure investment, we are asking for dramatically increased funding and improved policies because that what our country -- that is what our economy is going to need going forward. thank you. [applause] we do a lot of our growth in areas that are very sustainable, like transit and rail, and it places like los angeles where mayor garcetti is in charge of there is not room for additional highways. we are concerned that many of
our partners in congress are looking to undershoot the target, some want to go into the tax code and only want to raise enough money to freeze funding for the next 6 years. the reality is, frozen funding will not even allow us to maintain the current infrastructure that we have, and some places the infrastructure is 60, 70, and in some places 100 years old, they will continue to deteriorate because we do not have my to replace them. when it comes to the status quo policies, we are against politics. frankly, we don't understand politics. congress raises money for transportation for the first time in two decades, only to deliver to the public the existing deteriorated infrastructure, the existing challenges and being able to maintain our system. we think it makes a lot more sense if we dig into the tax code and raise the necessary revenue to really address transportation and what our
needs are going forward, we need to raise enough revenue to provide the growth the economy needs going forward, and that is where we need your help. we need you to deliver that message to your legislators. there are many things in the grow america act that the community should like. there are opportunities for increased funding to increase funding to states and localities by more than 50%. there's more than a doubling of the tiger program that has served cities like salt lake very well, but we are turning down 15 applications for every one we can find. so let me tell your local legislators that this is time to address the issue and not to tinker at the margins. if we are going to go in and raise money through the tax code to pay for transportation, we should raise enough to prepare us for our future. thanks. [applause] moderator: thank you, thank you so much to all three of you.
isn't it refreshing to hear them talk about innovation, about creativity, about meeting the needs and partnering with our community? really, that was just a fabulous set of three statements. [applause] i have a few questions that hopefully will allow each of you to maybe expand a little bit upon the things that you talked about in your comments. you have noted, of course, our infrastructure is failing, we are certainly feeling that very directly on our local roads and in our transit systems, and the things that we are trying to do to meet today's needs. tell me what your thoughts may be, and i know this is true with your grow america act, and i have heard it in some of your comments, but had you think we pay for that better. maybe a little more detail? ideas that you have for how we can bring some of our costs
down. and in working with cities on ideas that you may have to make sure that some communities are not left behind, for example there was a reference to the tiger grant, and i know we were incredibly fortunate and benefited from a tiger grant but many smaller communities -- having the wherewithal to develop a grant application is a really intimidating. maybe you can comment on some of the work that you are doing and each of you can respond. thank you. dr. moniz: first of all, let me start by expanding on a little bit of what secretary rogoff said, you mentioned tiger and i want to say that the tiger grants are way over subscribed and the point that i really want to make is in our quadrennial
energy review, broadening and out from tiger. when we think of energy infrastructure, we think about wires and pipes. in fact, associated infrastructure like docks, ports, inland waterways, these are all critical to energy today. and the energy boom that we have seen in the united states are severely taxing the infrastructure in many, many ways. so things like grow america and other initiatives that we hope to move forward on these related infrastructures are critical. one comment on the issue of smaller communities. two points. one, as i mentioned earlier, we are putting forward to congress, and again, we hope there will be action, in terms of these planning grants, and in these
planning grants, $63 million. they are in the budget request. these are precisely to develop plans that can develop the -- that can then be fundable. that should go through all communities in the states. in fact, we held, in developing this qer, we had many, many representatives of state, local, and tribal governments, and we are hoping that we are going to be able to work with you in terms of developing planning approaches that will allow us to move forward on infrastructure. a second point that i will just make. i was out recently, this is not a very small community but in toledo, ohio, for example, where the city's plans for downtown rebirth are very much tied in to
developing novel ideas around energy and combining power and etc. those are areas again that we are very happy to talk with communities and provide technical assistance in terms of developing proposals that are forward-looking and providing infrastructure that is good for the economical growth, but also good for resilience in the face of the threats that we see ahead. administrator mccarthy: let me mention a few things, because i think all of you know that epa does not have the zeros on the end of our budgets that these guys do, so we have to work on it. [laughter] one of the things that i think that the epa does very well is provide technical assistance to
local communities. we have strong relationships with our local communities. we don't tell them what our vision is, we go in there and ask how do we work with you to make your visions succeed. we've shown that in the work we do with sustainable communities. it is amazing what they $15,000 or a $20,000 technical grant can do to get a community coming together that is struggling and get good steps moving forward about how they can change their dynamic and how they make it more vibrant and use some of the funds that the other agencies can bring to the table and then get a tiger grant. it doesn't take much to build a bike path, but when a community decides that they want to build it, we can help with that, and then it changes the dynamics of that community, and it makes them vibrant, and all of a sudden, other things happen. one of the good things epa is trying to figure out how to do better. learning lessons from
sustainable communities, we are going to be honing in on technical expertise. we have identified 50 communities where our regions are working with communities and with our regional partners. our partners from hud, from dot, from doe and from other agencies that can work with us and go in and do exactly what they want us to do. it is to listen to them and then identify opportunities for funding. and that we are going to track those communities and then come back and track the success of those. you would be amazed at what a brownfields grant does for planning and for cleanup. the economy of local communities can dramatically change from the result of one small cleanup of a small lot and that makes people feel better about their community, makes it safer, makes it vibrant. so we are looking at how to expand these opportunities and do that and really track it. the other thing i wanted to mention is that we have a bunch
of work that is going on on infrastructure. how do we look at infrastructure planning differently? how do we build a green infrastructure that makes communities more livable and more vibrant in and of itself, and also happens to be a lot better than concrete and building big pipes. so there are opportunities to cure problems in a way that is tremendously cost effective and can also build up local economies and build jobs at the same time. believe it or not, i firmly believe that climate efforts are exactly the same thing. that is exactly why as we look at our carbon strategy for power plants, we are opening up opportunities for states about thinking more creatively and flexibility to how to work with you to bring advantages in job growth in choices they make on how to reduce carbon
pollution. they can do it if they want to. so get active with these discussions with the states. if the president's budget goes through, we are providing $25 million directly to the states to just help them with the planning and the implantation piece. the president has proposed a $4 billion budget line item that would establish an incentive for states that want to go faster and further that want to build the kind of infrastructure that you need to make to see climate reductions work. these are things that you need to do together. [applause] all we have to do is be really smart partners. epa needs to be focused on providing you the technical assistance to know how you can meet your environmental challenges in a way that actually promotes your economic growth and your job growth. if we can keep an eye on both of those prizes at the same time, we would be the partners that our public demands, we would be
the partner the keeps them safe and keep the actual infrastructure moving, keep them healthy, and continue to grow the economy. that is what we are working towards. none of us are in our little own fiefdoms, our own stovepipes. i wish i was ernie bothers me a lot. [laughter] i'm trying to get over it. we will deal with these issues forever. but that is what you want and we are delivering it. [laughter] [applause] moderator: she is from new england you can tell. mr. rogoff: let me address your issue about lowering costs. it is in title i of the grill america at -- it is in title i of the grill america act. and we have partners in the epa who help us in this review process, and that is the whole series of statutory provisions that all allow us to speed up the environmental process in the review process while getting
better results for the environment. it is not all that hard but some of it does take statutory change. areas we could do our reviews coincidently or at the same time rather than concurrently while someone is going through the file for many months only to hand it to the next agency who hands it to the next agency. we want to make more progress. secretary foxx will tell you that when he was mayor of charlotte, projects could just get 30% or 40% more expensive just because of the passage of time, and initiatives that were affordable quickly become unaffordable because the passage of time. so if we could take time off the process, we can get more projects for the money. so we have a series of initiatives in our bill to address that issue head on. you also asked about communities that were struggling to get a tiger grant, and we are also hearing that message loud and clear, because we have a mayor as a boss who has struggled to
be able to get together dollars locally to match federal funds at times. he had a very prosperous city. so you will see a difference in our notice of funding availability for tiger this year. whereas we have always prized overmatch by local communities we will continue to do so, but we will also recognize those communities that cannot provide an overmatch, so that is a change we are making this year. administrator mccarthy: could i mentioned one thing that i forgot to mention? i did mention the water resiliency finance center, a new opportunity to bring and private sector dollars. that's a partnership with usda. so i should mention that they have significant funds for role -- for rural infrastructure, and a lot of the focus if you are a small community is going to be how do you bundle small community projects together to allow them new opportunities for financing?
the usda is really on top of this issue. if you are interested in this kind of work that we are going to be doing, we are happy to reach out to you and make sure you have the right connections. whether it is that epa for srf or usda for rural development funds. dr. moniz: let me just mention something, but the power of these grants that can allow good planning are a great example of what we were involved in. we were with new jersey and it involved a novel approach to a micro-grid to support a resilient transportation corridor. we did some cost sharing to develop the plan, and that was successful at dot for literally hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild that infrastructure. so these are the kinds of
creative ideas that we certainly are looking for in terms of new approaches to resilient energy infrastructure. in this case supporting a transportation corridor. mr. rogoff: that is a very good example, because that grew out of the disaster of hurricanes and the and our relief money we got to address hurricane cindy. and a lot of people do not know this, many of the transit tunnels and highway tunnels that flooded after hurricane sandy had just flooded a year earlier under hurricane irene. less newsworthy but it makes the point if we are going to have the increasing frequency of major climactic conditions. when the president provided that money, he made a point the taxpayer should not have to pay to clean up critical facilities
time and time again. we need to build them smarter and in a fashion where they can withstand the future. that is part of what he make her grid does. makes sure there will be a power structure for the rail infrastructure critical to the region that is not dependent on the power lines that have been serving them for the last 70 years. dr. moniz: the earlier theme. congress needing to act. there are also policy actions congress needs to take to remove constraints on federal assistance to rebuild something only the way it was before. as opposed of building for the future. [applause] moderator: so it is hard for me to believe, but we are just about out of time. administrator mccarthy: what happened to the questions and answers? [laughter] moderator: do we have time?
they will each give you their cell phone numbers. [laughter] let me invite you to do this, e-mails to these folks and their departments and we will follow up. i will say this. isn't it refreshing to have this kind of direct conversation and direct input around issues we care about, whether it is climate change or infrastructure. and know that we have within these agencies and leading these agencies folks who are genuinely looking for ways that they can improve their partnerships to help us do our jobs locally. so to each of you, thank you so much, and we really appreciate you being here. [applause]
moderator: all right, thank you, they were suggesting that i just give you my cell phone number and we can just pass it along. [laughter] it is my honor to introduce sally jewell. the 51st secretary of the u.s. department of interior. as secretary, she leads an agency of more than 70,000 employees. the department of the interior serves as the steward of approximately 20% of the nation's land, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other
public lands. the department also oversees responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and water. it is the largest supplier in manager of water in the 17 western states and it upholds trust responsibilities to 566 federally recognized american indian tribes and alaska natives. prior to becoming secretary, sally jewell served in the private sector, most recently as president and ceo of the company rei recreational equipment incorporated. and she joined rei as chief operating officer in 2000 and was named ceo in 2005. during her tenure, rei nearly tripled its business revenues to $2 billion and was consistently ranked as one of the best 100 companies to work for" fortune magazine." secretary jewell has become a
great partner with the national league of cities and with our agreement with the department of the interior to further a program to connect kids with nature which she has made her , special mission, i think, as secretary. please join me in giving a very warm welcome to secretary sally jewell. [applause] secretary jewell: hi everybody! are you awake? crowd: yes! secretary jewell: it is a little that after lunch so we should be fine. thank you. it's a pleasure to be with you today. i want to start by thanking you for your public service.
whether you are a mayor or a city councilmember or commissioner or whatever they call you in your public service, i have come to appreciate just how tough you jobs are and how important your jobs are. so thank you for everything that you can do. yes, if we could give you a round of applause, that would be good. [applause] clarence anthony and the work he does for the national league of cities. the partnership i will talk about in a little bit. and it is clear that you are very important to this country because you had the president of the united states, a good chunk of the cabinet, and it is great. it seems we are all in town, we should have a cabinet meeting. so i want to talk to you about a bit different dimension than some of my other colleagues. i want to start by asking you to just close your eyes for a minute and picture the most special place from your childhood. would you just humor me and do that for a minute?
ok, you got it? how many of you for that special place, was it outside? ok, that is what i figured. a pretty good chunk. so when you think about that special place, it probably has something to do with where you grew up or trips where a loved one took you to. for me, often times a special place would be romping around in the hobo jungle behind my house. we called it a hobo jungle because it was a homeless encampment. we used to go and put pennies on the railroad track and let the train run over the pennies. i used to camp out in the backyard which was a great , stepping stone to a life of enjoying the great outdoors. my parents took me to city parks and state parks and national parks. i used to sail little sailing dinghies and camp all the time.
i remember camping 52 nights one year. that was what my childhood was about. when i think about that and i think about the trajectory of my career, much of what i have done and where i have chosen to live has had to do with the quality of life of those communities. and that is something that you all care about. he is whether you are from a large city or a small town, or a large county with few people or a small county with lots of people, you want your future generations to stay. you want them to come back. you want them to say, this is my special place. i want my children to have the same kind of experiences that you had when you close your eyes about those special places. that has something to do with how we create an environment around our cities, that has to do with parks and open spaces and public lands. so when i was preparing for this, i asked a couple of my colleagues what their special places were and what their parks
and open spaces meant to them. my colleague david who is here and has led my youth initiative at the department of the interior. the only person i brought with me from rei. david is the only child of immigrant parents. parks where where he learned to speak english. they were very important to him. emily, also here on my team, is in her mid-20's, and she said she played in the creek and i cannot remember if it was her house or her grandparent's house near king of prussia pennsylvania. in her case, there is a lot development has happened. it is a place that rei looked at putting a store there because of the retail magnet, but like so many of those places like the hobo jungle where i used to play, it is now all apartment buildings. it has all been developed. yet when i made a decision about
where to live after college, i looked at quality of life. i ended up in a world community in oklahoma because i started my community in the wheel. -- i started my career and oil. what do you do besides going to football games? that is what you do. i also went to the ouachita mountains, and that was the first time i saw longhorn cattle . i saw lots of reptiles. the first time i put my feet in a creek to cool them, i pulled my feet out and there were leeches, and i went to the buffalo river out in arkansas, and then we moved to denver and it was about the rocky mountains and skiing. it was also about theater and quality of life within the community. we moved back to seattle with the outdoors and family. families will be the most powerful tug we have. these are special places, and i
think for all of us, as we try to think about how do we create a future for our families where they choose to live by us, i am going back to seattle after this job, i have my first biological grandchild, and my two step grandchildren. i know i'm going back there. the tug is very strong. what is it that is going to attract your kids to come back to your communities? that is something i think that is very relevant to the national league of cities is doing with the department of the interior and the ymca. when i was running rei, we thought about where we were opening stores. and we put a store in places like greenville, south carolina. why? because greenville is turning its face to the river. and embracing its river when it used to turn its back to the river like so many communities did, and it has made the community more livable.
it put parks along the river. an eagle scout did a project little brass mice, you can go around greenville and look for the mice. you can go to the restaurants and shops and buy a doughnut, which i did. when you are a business person at rei, you think about that. putting an rei in pittsburgh was something like that, it turned a brownfield site into a retail complex. it turned its back to the river, the river had been a dumping ground as many rivers were in the east. it turned its face to the river and it put a bike path along the river. rei put a store where people could test out their bikes on that bike path. so you can learn a lot about the livability of a city. parks and open spaces and communal areas and community activities held define quality of life in our communities. it helps to distinguish one community from the other. but we all have a challenge.
that is that children are growing up more disconnected from nature than ever before. the millennial generation, young adults, say age 18-33, they are a larger generation than the baby boom generation by more than 3 million, and they have grown up very scheduled and trying to juggle competition with schoolwork, which was pretty intense organized youth sports that sometimes went year long television and video games which are a powerful draw, and very little time exploring the natural world on their own. parents were afraid. afraid of strangers. chastised by other parents for letting their kids walk home from school alone. all of those things that many of us did and thought were normal today's kids are not getting to do. yet it is those kinds of activities that help to build creativity. build independence. build self-confidence.
at the department of the interior, we have launched a youth initiative. david, my colleague is running it. it is working with all the bureaus of the department of interior to say, let's be part of the solution here. the first step is to let children play. how about that? [applause] let's let them play. i was at a tribal school, i have been to a lot of native american schools here lately as we look to transform indian education. and i will get down with little kids, and i say, what is your favorite part of school, and they inevitably say recess, but i understand because that was my favorite part too. play is the first step. letting kids play. giving them the time and space to play and not telling them what to do. when they are playing, they are playing in, i think, the finest classroom in the world, and that is the classroom that has no walls. that is mother nature. and of course that can be
nurtured and supported by adults. adult like my colleagues and interpretation and education at the national wildlife service or the bureau of land management. it could be a teacher who goes through the teacher ranger program and taking skills learned as a ranger during the summer back into the classroom. so it is a place to learn. let kids play. let them learn in the outdoors. let's let them serve. i say that because i've done hundreds of service projects i live in the country. when rei opened a store, we would go and do a service project. when i was in pittsburgh we got into kayaks and we floated on on the river and picked up garbage out of the river. on the martin luther king jr. holiday, we went down with 450 people, many of them young, many of them from the community near the anacostia river in southeast d.c. we picked up garbage out of the river said he bike path
felt more safe. i guarantee you that children felt a connection to that community that they had never felt before. and felt a pride in that place that was going to change their behavior towards garbage and littering and bicycling in open spaces and enable them to help change that behavior in their friends. play learn, serve. some of them are going to want to work in jobs like mine. in jobs like your parks and rec folks. wildlife biologists. scientists that understanding natural world. we need them. we need them at every level, i suspect, of government. 40% of my employees are eligible for retirement in five years. who will replace them? people are not clamoring to go work for the federal government, i can tell you that. we've done a pretty good job of putting down federal employees yet they are so critical to what we do.
that is what we are doing at the interior. the national league of cities has your cities promoting access to nature project, so thanks so much, and thanks so much for working with the jbb project raising 2 million dollars. helping each other figure out what works. because at a local level, that is like it was for me, oftentimes people's first experience with nature. the president announced three weeks ago when he was in chicago announcing the pullman national monument that we were launching every kid in the park, and that was focusing on fourth-graders and giving every fourth-grader and their family starting next school year a free pass to national parks and national lands that have a fee. we are going to blend that with the kind of program that you have and with the effort we have collectively. we will collectively get every kid in a park, because that will shape their lives in a really positive way, and it will shape the way they think about your community so they will choose to come back there and live as they -- if they go away to school.
so it is about partnerships in a time when there is not enough money to go around. how many of you have plenty of money for your parks and open spaces? [laughter] ok i don't see a single hand. that's kind of what i figure. when you put bond issues, parks issues and open space issues on your ballot, how many of you have had good experience with us? that is what i figure. people love their parks and open spaces. so how do we get creative and smart about spending our money? one of the things we are doing is partnering with you. last april, mayor becker, who i will say early in his career was a park ranger at grand canyon national park, and yes, give him a hand for that. [applause] and the st. paul mayor at the time was the head of his organization, chris coleman, who did his summers during college
as a bartender and a waiter at glacier national park and grand teton national park, yes. [applause] so it is probably no coincidence that they are great partners for us and perhaps leading this organization too. because they care about these places, these special places that make the united states stand out among countries around the world. if you have hiked in the alps, there is no wildlife. you can get a beer on the trail maybe a fluffy bed, but there is , no wildlife. there is no wildlife -- we have something that is different. our crown jewels are our national parks, our history and culture. 30 blend -- they are the blend of the small and the big and the pride we have in who we are in our individuality and our commonality. so in the announcement in
september with mayor becker and mayor coleman, we had neil nicholl, the president of the ymca of the usa. i will tell you i have been scheming with him for years because he was the head of ymca, in greater seattle. at the time he said we serve 6 million children a day and day care. but we have got very few programs. we have 9 million people under the age of 18 involved in the ymca program doing camp programs. we have 40,000 young people that we employ in our camps, and over 500,000 volunteers that serve us every day. we thought bingo, let's work , together where we have cities that really want to support parks and open spaces, we have the ymca who can help harness volunteers and is already serving young people. and you've got the federal government and the department of interior in specific that has 20% of the land in the united states, so let's blend this
together and see if we can make magic together, so that is what we are doing. so we are launching later this week the beginning of a 50 cities campaign, which is taking a strong federal presence, strong support from the local community, and strong ymca leadership, and we are blending that with a financial contribution that we are announcing a later this week and we are going to be getting many, many more kids playing and parks and open spaces. 50 cities is a small subset. what i know we are going to do is we are going to learn. we are going to learn what works and the national league of cities is going to teach us a what works and we are going to do a better job i working together. we have a memorandum of understanding. the ymca is going to be
orchestrating a lot of these efforts and we are out raising private money to do it, so we have support already for many of our programs to engage young people on services for public land. companies like american eagle outfitters, coca-cola, camelback, north face, and another big announcement coming later this week. what it says is we don't have to do it all on our own budgets we , don't have to do it all with our own employees, we can do it by working together in partnership. we can be so much together than we are apart. so i want to thank the leadership of the national league of cities. mayor becker mayor coleman, so let's give you guys a round of applause. [applause] recognizing that we want our young people to stay. we want our young people to come home. we want them to build careers and raise their families and have as much fun growing up as we did and we all have work to
do that. but if we do it well, it will be the gift that keeps on giving, because young people will have a connection for a place that will never leave them. communities will be more fun and more livable, and there will be an environment that people will want to raise their families and that will hold upon itself. -- that will build on itself. so i want to end by saying thank you for your leadership, thank you for standing up for the things that make your community more livable, and thank you for giving us a chance, a big federal pr purcey to be a partner and were collectively with the private sector to make this happen. a big federal -- a big federal bureaucracy, to be a partner and work collectively with the private sector to make this happen. thank you so much because we want to be your partner. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> national institute of health dr. francis collins and
commissioner margaret hamburg testify. live starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. this sunday on q&a, dr. adrian barman, dr. of the georgetown university medical center's pharmed out project. >> the promotion of a drug starts seven years to 10 years before a drug comes on the market. it is illegal for a company to market the drug before it has been approved by the fda it is not illegal to market a disease. drug companies have invented diseases or exaggerated the importance of certain conditions or exaggerated the importance of a mechanism of a drug. then blanketed medical journals and medical meetings and other venues with these messages that
are meant to prepare the minds of clinicians to accept a particular drug. also to prepare the minds of consumers to accept a particular condition. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on q&a. >> live on c-span, "washington journal" is next. at 10:00 a.m., the senate foreign relations committee looks at u.s. foreign policy in ukraine. coming up and 45 minutes matthew lee diplomatic writer for the associated press discusses the ongoing nuclear negotiations. at 8:30 a.m., a look at the coalition for public safety, whose goal is to reduce the level of incarceration across the u.s. we hear from christine leonard executive director. at 9:!15 a.m., nick juliano